Should a toilet seat be placed up or down?

Toilet Seat up or Down?

Should you leave the toilet seat down?

Should a toilet seat be placed up or down? This is an age-old question that has a simple answer and a complicated one. The simple answer is, both — it should always go up and down, opening and closing. In fact, The Scotsman reports that on a weekly average, men sit for one hour and 45 minutes, while women spend an hour and 25 minutes a week on the toilet. That’s a lot of transitioning between opening and closing depending on whether you or someone else is doing a #1 or #2. Over the course of a year, regardless of gender, there are thousands of times the toilet will be lifted up or down.
Now, to address the reasons why bathroom goers lift toilet seats up or leave them down after using.

Reasons for men and boys: Toilet seat up, down, or neutral opinion

  • Many men and boys leave the seat up because they were taught to do it.
  • Others will close it for them, not mention it, or just deal with it, making the person unaware it even bothers others.
  • They may think it’s easier or convenient not to put it down because they’ll be visiting again soon anyway.
  • Or they may leave the seat down and pee through it because they don’t want to touch the seat with their hands. Women can get liquids on the seat too.
  • They may not think a dog drinking toilet bowl water is something to worry about.
  • Leaving the toilet seat all the way up. Thinking that women should look before sitting (not my words, it’s a very common viewpoint).
  • Some men are sitters and won’t be lifting the seat at all.
  • Others don’t care either way and some are happy to close the lid.

Reasons for women and girls: toilet lid down, up, or neutral opinion

  • Many women were taught to put the bathroom seat down and to tell others to do the same.

  • They may see it as a courteous thing to do and shows that you have appropriate bathroom manners.

  • They don’t want to fall in and potentially hurt themselves. Especially in the middle of the night, and don’t want their genitals to touch the inside of the toilet.

  • Find it unsanitary to put the toilet seat down after other people use it.

  • Curious pets may be in the home and owners will want to keep them from drinking toilet water, splashing, and playing inside it.

  • Some women believe that leaving the seat open isn’t going to expose them to more bacteria. Because these particles exist everywhere anyways.

  • Some women are fine closing or leaving it open.

Listen to all sides

When asked, everyone will have a different opinion about whether or not to leave the toilet seat down or up. So, it’s important to listen to the opinion of everyone living under the same roof. How can we all find a good compromise? How can everyone get what they need? Look at the long term health benefits and practical reasons for keeping the lid shut.

The benefits of putting the toilet seat down

Closing the toilet seat after your next bathroom visit has health benefits. It will help everyone in the long term. Keeping the seat down during flushing will minimize the spread of bacteria. This bacteria can cause family and friends to get sick.
The Vox article Your Toothbrush Likely Has Poop On It, Study Finds has an article that describes why you should put the lid down. It lists the types of nauseatingly creepy crawly things you can be exposed to if you refuse to close the lid.

Some of these include:

  • Other people’s gut bacteria, which when introduced to yours can make you ill.
  • Fecal and pee particles that get sprayed in the air during flushing and land on surfaces.
  • Viruses like strep, staph, E.coli, hepatitis A, the cold virus, and STD’s to name a few.
  • Parasites are rare but if you have animals or have eaten tainted food this could be a terrifying reality.
The touch and transfer of these nasty germs and bugs can be spread anywhere with the turn of the flusher. Transferred to your clothes and hands, and onto your loved ones and pets. Each of us isn’t perfect, but we can still make sure to be responsible for keeping each other’s health at a priority.

If you are going to keep the seat up

Living with a person who insists on keeping the seat up? Remember to look before you sit. If you’re the one that doesn’t want to put the toilet seat down, then please, make sure you wash your hands with soap and water. This will prevent passing on bathroom germs to yourself and everyone else. Make sure you take some responsibility for cleaning the bathroom with the proper gloves and cleaning products. Toilet seats can be cleaned with soap and water. Using a non-abrasive towel or sponge. Toilet bowls and flat surfaces can handle harsher cleaning products that kill bacteria.
Washing your hands is proven to reduce illnesses like diarrhea by 31% and reduces colds by 16-21%. Do you still want to keep the lid open? Do you want to miss less work? Or have your child miss less school? Do you want to keep your wife’s, husband’s, or parent’s immune system healthy so they’ll have a better life? Please, wash your hands with soap and water.

If you are going to keep the seat down

If you are choosing to keep the seat down then you’ll be reducing your exposure to bugs and bacteria. Make sure that you take responsibility for not spreading germs and bugs as well. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water, and make cleaning the bathroom everyone’s job.

Conclusion: To close or not to close

The choice is yours to choose if you should put the toilet seat down or up. Every home and situation is going to be different for various reasons. Make sure to weigh the benefits and drawbacks to keeping the lid shut or open. Is your choice going to help you feel better in the moment or hurt you in the future? Regardless of your decision, please remember to wash your hands. After all, everyone uses the bathroom.
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